Love for the Lord Jesus
September 8, 2018
If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha (1 Corinthians 16:22).
I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to love the Lord Jesus. Everyone wants to be loved, and Dwight L. Moody once said that if you can convince a man that you love him, you will win a friend for life. Think about it. If you can convince a man you care for his soul, he will be open and honest with you, but in no other way will he do so. If you are in business and you demonstrate that you genuinely love your customers, they will be loyal to your business. If you show love to your children, they will readily want to listen to you and obey you – little convincing with a stick will be needed. If you genuinely love your spouse, he or she will be delighted to be in your presence, and will be your best friend forever.
But Jesus said unless we love Him more than all of these, we are not worthy of Him. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:37). Exactly how much do we need to love Jesus? More than anything else.
I have to be honest, friends. In all the churches I've been, whether Anabaptist, or evangelical American churches, the biggest lack seems to be of love for Jesus Christ. If men, women, and children only loved the Lord, everything else would take care of itself. No longer would we feel the need to address outward appearance and put up guards to keep people "in their places." No longer would children rebel against parents. No longer would preachers spend so much time talking about things that really don't matter. Honest, it's true! If churches – and again, I'm not singling out any specific church because all are equally guilty here – would spend the majority of their time helping people in the arena of the heart, helping them understand how to love the Lord, then we'd finally see genuine unity and amazing peace in the hearts and lives of our people. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1).
Where to do we begin? How can we find such a love for Jesus Christ? I don't know the answer for each individual person, but I do know my own experience. I knew Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, but for a long time, it was head knowledge only. It's not enough to know about the Lord, we must know Him and be known of Him: the devils also believe, and tremble (James 2:19) Knowledge reached my heart when I asked the Lord to change my heart, to make me willing to follow Him no matter what. When I told the Lord that I was willing to let Him give me a new heart, He acted on my request. I needed to be born again. Simple, old language, but sometimes the simple things are best. Jesus said a long time ago that we must be born again, the same Jesus that said that gave me a brand-new heart when I asked for it.
After that, I wanted to follow Jesus. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24). For me, that meant laying everything else at His feet. No longer do I care what people think of me. If I love Jesus, it means I'm going to talk about Him – a lot. If someone loves another person (a boyfriend or girlfriend), they think about them and talk about them – a lot. If someone loves their work, a brand of machinery, or a particular type of food, they talk about it a lot. One thing I know and hang on to is Jesus' words that if we are ashamed of Him, He'll be ashamed of me. I do not want Jesus Christ to be ashamed of me.
If you have not already done so, my friend, I encourage you to ask Jesus to give you a new heart. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Ask Him make you willing to follow Him. If you are already born again, ask Jesus to show you how to love Him more. Pour out your heart and life for your best friend, Jesus Christ. It's a special relationship to guard and nurture, even more so than we do with our earthly friends. May the Lord Jesus Christ richly bless your relationship with Him.
Jeremiah Zeisetcomments powered by Disqus« Back to Articles